Lee Kuan Yew
a. The birth and growing up of years
· Family Background
Lee Kuan Yew was born in Singapore on September 16th 1923 in a wealthy and rich Chinese family. He was a fourth-generation Chinese Singaporean. His Hakka great-grandfather, Lee Bok Boon (born 1846), emigrated from the Dapu county of Guangdong province to the Straits Settlements in 1862.
The eldest child of Lee Chin Koon and Chua Jim Neo was Lee Kuan Yew who was born at 92 Kampong Java Road in Singapore, in a large and airy bungalow. As a child, he was strongly influenced by British culture because of his grandfather, Lee Hoon Leong, who had given his sons an English education. His grandfather then gave him the name of "Harry" in addition to his Chinese name (given by his father) Kuan Yew. Thus Lee Kuan Yew is known informally as "Harry" to his close friends and family and his name is sometimes called as Harry Lee Kuan Yew, although this first name is never used in official settings.
Lee Kuan Yew and his wife Kwa Geok Choo were married on September 30, 1950. They have two sons, Lee Hsien Loong, a prime minister of Singapore since 2004 and Lee Hsien Yang, a former Brigadier-General, was the President and Chief Executive Officer of SingTel, a pan-Asian telecommunications giant and Singapore's largest company by market capitalisation (listed on the Singapore Exchange, SGX) as well as one daughter, Lee Wei Ling who is still unmarried. His wife, Kwa Geok Choo, used to be a partners of the prominent legal firm Lee & Lee
Several members of Lee's family hold prominent positions in Singaporean society, and his sons and daughter hold high government and government-linked posts. His younger brothers, Dennis, Freddy, and Suan Yew were partners of the same firm. He also has a younger sister, Monica.
Lee has consistently denied charges of nepotism, arguing that his family members' privileged positions are based on personal merit. However, these charges have persisted and international publications such as The Economist, International Herald Tribune and the Far Eastern Economic Review have been threatened, sued or banned in Singapore for implying the existence of nepotism.
· Early child hood years
Lee Kuan Yew was educated at Telok Kurau Primary School, Raffles Institution, and Raffles College. His university education was delayed by World War II which occurs from the 1942 to 1945 Japanese occupation of Singapore. During the occupation, he operated a successful black market business selling tapioca-based glue called Stikfas. Having taken Chinese and Japanese lessons since 1942, he was able to collaborate as a transcriber of Allied wire reports for the Japanese, as well as being the English-language editor on the Japanese Hodobu from 1943 to 1944.
After the war, he studied law at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge in the united Kingdom, of which he became an honorary fellow, graduating with Double Starred First Class honours, and briefly attended the London School of Economics. He returned to Singapore in 1949 and work as a lawyer in Laycock and Ong, the legal practice of John Laycock, a pioneer of multiracialism who, together with A.P. Rajah and C.C. Tan, had founded Singapore's first multiracial club open to Asians.
b. Contribution to Singapore
Formation of PAP
Fifty years ago on 21 November 1954, a group of young men and women launched the PAP at the Victoria Memorial Hall. They had a clear mission: to fight for independence and build a multi-racial Singapore based on justice, equality and democracy.
Six months later, the PAP fought its first elections. It won three of the four seats it contested. Four years later, it won the 1959 General Elections to form the Government. The PAP has won every general election since then and the person who set up PAP is Lee Kuan Yew
Contribution to Singapore(with and without the PAP)
1. He built a building of Singapore which one of the world wealthiest building, despite the current economic turmoil. However, historically, Singapore always had good infrastructure; as a crown colony and an entrepot, it had a head start. Lee merely pushed this city state to its full potential.
2. Lee Kuan Yew was the president of a one-party system (PAP), and worked hard to keep it going on. So in a sense, he fought against democracy, since he effectively disallowed opposition parties. On the other hand, he had successfully converted Singapore from a third world country to a prosperous international place. That's the dilemma of his rule.
Lee Kuan yew fought for independence from the British so that Singapore will no longer be controlled by a British and be a independent country.
Lee Kuan yew introduced the CPF (Central Provident Fund) for those that had retired from their job and they could still get an amount of money every month for survival.
His Thoughts and His words
He said although Singapore is small in size but we shouldn’t bow our heads to those bigger-sized countries. For example, we have a better army.
“To remind a new generation of Singaporeans that being small does not mean that we must be compliant to bigger neighbours”
He also said that to transform Singapore to what we are today, we need a strong government and their loyal government offices.
“To make the transformation from what we were in 1959 or 1965, to what we are requires an extraordinary government with extraordinary government officers to support it.”
He was very sad when Singapore separated as he believed that Malaysia and Singapore are connected. Therefore should merge.
“For me, it is a moment of anguish. All my life, my whole adult life, I have believed in merger and unity of the two territories."
“On our island of 224 square miles were two million people. We inherited what was the capital of the British Empire in Southeast Asia, but dismembered from the hinterland which was the empire. The question was how to make a living? How to survive? This was not a theoretical problem in the economics of development. It was a matter of life and death for two million people. The realities of the world of 1965 had to be faced. The sole objective was survival. How this was to be achieved, by socialism or free enterprise, was a secondary matter. The answer turned out to be free enterprise, tempered with the socialist philosophy of equal opportunities for education, jobs, health, housing.”
He means that although our island is only a small dot, we can still survive.
What did he do after becoming Prime Minister
He was the prime minister of Singapore from 1959 to 1990. During his long rule, Singapore became the most prosperous nation in Southeast Asia.
C. Later years
Lee kuan yew was now the minister mentor of Singapore ever since 12th August 2004 when Goh Gok Tong stepped down into Senior Minister and his elder son Lee Hsian Loong took over the place of Prime Minister. However his words now still carry much weight with the public and the cabinet and is always ready in use . Alhough his position is different now but he is still treat with respect and admiration.
Done by: Chan Yun Xin, Ng You Pin, Yap Hui Shan